Sausage-making and a “U” stories voting reminder

A gentle reminder before exploring sausage-making . . .  

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge U-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on Wednesday, December 16th.

So, on with a fairly quick post about how the sausage gets made. We begin with this photo (as shot on  Nikon D200 with a Nikon 80-400mm VR lens) . . .

Coyote in a field
As shot. RAW capture output to JPG.

I mean, it’s not a bad photo. It’s a little soft and overly bright, but it was the middle of the day in Colorado, the sun beating down something fierce. Well, first we crop and sharpen using Topaz Sharpen AI.

Cropped and Sharpened using Topaz Sharpen AI

 Next up, I shoot that over to DxO’s Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 . . .

Processed by Nik Tools Color Efex Pro 4

That’s not bad, and from there . . .

Processed with Topaz Impression 2.0

You can’t see the painting-like treatment unless you got to SmugMug, but it’s there. Because it’s a painting it should be framed, no? Enter Topaz Studio 1.0.

Framed by Topaz Studio 1.0

I could have taken the output from Color Efex Pro and went into a charcoal monochrome treatment . . .

Topaz Impression Charcoal Monochrome treatment

Then, back to Studio (2.0, this time) for another framing job.

Charcoal monochrome framed

Of course, one need not do a whole lot of work . . . here’s an example of minimal sausage-making. Again, we begin with a coyote out in a field (the same coyote, in fact).

Coyote in a field shot with Nikon D200 and Nikon 80-400mm VR lens

Again, a crop to frame the beast . . .

The same photo cropped for composition

Notice the photo is a little soft. As I often mention, I rather the camera did little-to-no modifications to the RAW image. Especially sharpening; I prefer to do my own sharpening as opposed to letting the camera modify the original capture.  In this case, I again resort to Topaz Sharpen AI (Just a touch to bring the features into focus).

Sharpened using Topaz Sharpen AI

It may look subtle on a small screen, but it’s noticeable when viewed in a proper screen and larger.

And, of course, a gentle touch of Color Efex Pro 4.

Processed with Color Efex Pro 4

Sometimes, there’s not much sausage to be made. Again, in the harsh light of mid-day sun, there’s little that can be improved.

Anyway, wrapping this up . . .

This LINK will take you to the SmugMug gallery that has the full-size versions of the above and also photos in recent reminder posts.

I’ll close this update with a gallery of the above . . .

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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